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US Army Corps of Engineers








SBT #62








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RvTR~DUCTION Authority Subject Purpose Scope PREVIOUSSITE INVESTIGATIONS Corps of Engineers Documents Other Reports SITE DESCRIPTION Land Usage Climatic Data Geology and Soils Hydrology Ecology Demographics HISTORICAL ORDNANCEUSAGE Historical Site Summary Review of Historical Records Summary of Interviews Air Photo Interpretation and Map Analysis REAL ESTATE Confirmed DOD Ownership Potential DOD Ownership Significant Past Ownership other than DOD Present Ownership

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Historical Plate 1 - Status of Targets (see APPENDIX K)

ORDNANCE ANDEXPLOSIVES CHEMICALWARFAFZ MATERIALS ARCHIVESSEARCHREPORT FINDINGS FOR KANE SPRINGSSET #62 KANE SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA IMPERIALCOUNW PROJECTNO.JO9CAO17301 1.0 Introduction 1.1 &&&Q& In 1986, Congress established the Defense Environmental Restoration Program at 10 U.S. 6. 2701 et.seq. This program directed the Secretary of Defense to carry out a program of environmental restoration at facilities under the jurisdiction of the secretary. In March, 1990, the EPA issued a revised National Contingency Plan. Under 40 C.F.R. 300.120, EPA designated DOD to be the removal response authority for incidents involving DOD military weapons and munitions under the jurisdiction, custody and control of DOD. Since the beginning of this program, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been the agency responsible for environmental restoration at Formerly-Used Defense Sites (FUDS). Since 1990, the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, has been the Mandatory Center of Expertise and Design Center for Ordnance and Explosives. 1.2 Subject The former Kane Springs SBT #62, located in Section 2, Township 13 South, Range 11 East, consisting of 677.32 acres, was transferred from the Department of Interior to the Navy Department in August 1944. Pilots practiced air-to-ground strafing and dropped miniature bombs on the site. The site was used by the Navy until January 1947 when the land was returned to the Department of Interior. 1.3 Purpose This Archives Search Report (ASR) compiles information obtained through historical research at various archives and records holding facilities, interviews l-l

with individuals associated with the site or its operations, and personal visits to the site. All efforts were directed towards determining possible use or disposal of ordnance on site. Particular emphasis was placed on establishing the types, quantities and area of disposal. Information obtained during this process was used in developing recommendations for further actions at the site. 1.4 &Q@ The entire area of the former SBT #62, consisting of 677.32 acres, was considered in assessing the potential for ordnance and explosives. Based on research, chemical warfare material contamination is not a concern.


2.0 Erevious

Site InvestiPatism3

2.1 Corps of &gineers Docum& U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District (CESPL), prepared an Inventory Project Report (INPR) for the former Kane Spring SBT #62, Project No. JO9CAO17301, dated 22 September 1993. Science Applications International Corporation (SAW) personnel conducted a site visit on 7 May 1993. They encountered some OE hazards and CESPL calculated a RAC score of 4. Copies of this information are in APPENDIX D. CESPL did not identify any environmental concerns other than the potential for OE.

Research did not uncover any other reports on this site.


3.0 Site Descridioq

3.1 Land Use In August 1944, the Department of Interior transferred Section 2, Township 13 South, Range 11 East to the Navy Department for use as a bombing target, known as the Kane Springs SBT #62. The range consisted of 677.32 acres. Pilots practiced air-to-ground strafing and dropped miniature bombs on the site. In January 1947, the Navy returned the land to the Department of Interior (Assistant Commandant (Logistics) 1944; Navy Department 1947; Vanantwerp 1993). 3.2 Climatic Data The Imperial Valley of California has a desert climate and records a higher percentage of sunshine than any other place in the United States. The amount of possible sunshine fluctuates between 97%, occurring in June, and 82%, occurring in December. The summers are long and hot with afternoon temperatures reaching 100 F and higher on the average. The highest temperature recorded at the climatological station at Yuma, Arizona was at 122 F in 1990. The highest daily average temperature of 106.6 F occurs during July. December and January are the only two months that have an average daily high below 70 F, with temperatures of 68.5 F and 68.7 F, respectively. December through February are the only three months with an average daily low temperature below 50 F, falling between 44 F and 45 F. The average annual daily high temperature is 87.9 F, the low is 60.5F, and the monthly mean is 74.2 F. Precipitation is sparse with an annual average precipitation of only 3.17 inches. Moisture laden air from the Gulf of California continually invades the area during the summer months. The highest mean monthly precipitation of 0.64 inches occurs during August. May and June record the lowest mean monthly precipitation at 0.04 and 0.02 inches, respectively. The maximum monthly recorded precipitation of 3.44 inches, also the maximum recorded precipitation in a 24 hour period, occurred in August 1989. The minimum monthly recorded precipitation of 0.00 inches occurred in May 1983. The relative humidity ranges from 30% to 50%, and it is higher in the winter and lower in the summer. On a daily basis, the relative humidity is usually higher in the early morning and lower in the early evening.


The mean annual wind speed is 7.8 mph with a prevailing direction of north. The prevailing wind direction for summer is south southeast; for fall and winter is north, and for spring is west northwest. Climatological data for this area are summarized in TABLE 3-1. Data were collected at the National Weather Service meteorological station at Yuma, Arizona. TABLE 3-1 CLIMATOLOGICAL DATA WMA, ARIZONA

October November December



90.3 17.4 68.5 87.9

0.29 0.24 0.45 3.17

6.6 6.9 1.2 7.8


44.3 60.5

3.3 Geolow and Soils 3.3.1 Geologynhysiography The former Kane Springs Bombing Target is located in the Salton Trough section of the Basin and Range physiographic province. This section is characterized by desert alluvial slopes and deltaic plains. The site is located just over one hundred


miles to the north-northwest of the northern tip of the Gulf of California. The Salton Trough is a rift valley that owes its existence to the same tectonic forces that created the gulf. Structurally, the Salton Trough section is a complexly faulted graben. There are three major northwest-trending fault systems in the southwestern portion of Imperial County. The faults are, from northeast to southwest, the San Andreas, San Jacinto, and Elsinore faults. These faults exhibit right-lateral and vertical movement. The site is located on the Palm Spring Formation of Cenozoic age. The geology of the formation is interbedded nonmarine, light gray, arkosic sandstone and reddish clay. Folds are displayed along the margins of the Salton trough, in the vicinity of the former Kane Springs Target. These folds were produced where the young, Cenozoic sedimentary tilling has been uplifted. 3.3.2 Soils Soils of the former Bomb Target are nearly level soils on flood plains and alluvial basin floors. The soils are deep and well drained. The soils formed in alluvial and eolian sediments. The surface layer of the soil is typically 12 inches thick and is composed of pinkish gray, sandy silty clay. This layer is underlain by stratified very pale brown and pink, light silty sandy clay to a depth over 60 inches. Permeability of the soil is generally rapid to moderate. The available water capacity is moderate to very high. The hazard of erosion is slight and the hazard of soil blowing is high. The risk of corrosion by the soils to uncoated steel is high and to concrete is low. TABLE 3-2 shows a typical profile of the soils found on the former Kane Springs Bombing Target.


3.4 &&QJQgJ 3.4.1 Surface Water The study site is located within the Imperial valley of California. The terrain of the Imperial valley consists mostly of smooth plains. Approximately 50% to 80% of the local relief, which is between 100 and 300 feet, is gently sloping. A large part of the terrain of the Imperial valley is below sea level. The elevation of the water surface for the Salton Sea, located within the Imperial valley, is 228 feet below sea level. The soil in the Imperial valley of California is warm and dry, with a mean annual temperature higher than 47 F. The western and southern sections of California have very low frost penetration amounts. The average frost penetration for the study site is between zero and 3 inches while the depth of extreme frost penetration is only about 5 inches. The soil in this region is sandy and generally lacks moisture. Evaporation is high due to the plentiful amounts of sunshine and the hot, dry conditions. The vegetation that grows naturally in this area is mostly brush and shrublands. The Imperial valley is generally vulnerable to droughts which may last several years. The principle water use of the Imperial valley is for irrigation. Fresh surface water is provided from an extensive network of canals for irrigation . The average concentration of sediment in the rivers is generally high; between 15,000 and 30,000 parts per million. The prevalent type of chemicals naturally in the rivers are sodium, potassium, sulfate and chloride. The concentration of dissolved minerals in the ground water is low with less than 1000 parts per million. Natural drainage.occurs through washes, draws and gullies (trenches cut out by the natural drainage of runoff from precipitation). These trenches are dry in times of no precipitation. A wash is the largest type of trench drainage, gullies are the smallest and draws are usually in between. These natural runoff drainage trenches empty into rivers or canals. Flooding at the site is unlikely because of the small amount of precipitation and the porous nature of the sandy soils throughout the Imperial valley. Imperial Valley generally drains in a southern direction. The Alamo River, New River and the Western Main Canal all originate at the Salton Sea and flow south into the All American Canal. The Coachella Canal which originates at the Colorado Aqueduct near Coachella, California also flows south, just east of and parallel to the others. These four water systems empty into the All American Canal. The All American Canal flows east along the Mexican border and empties into the Colorado River near Yuma, Arizona. The Colorado River flows south and empties into the 3-4

Gulf of California. The former target lies in the foothills of Superstition Hills. The site elevation ranges from a high of about 150 feet above sea level to a low of about 110 feet below sea level. The area drains north into the Salton Sea and the Trifolium Extension Canal. While no gage data is available at this site, the U.S. Geological Service (U.S.G.S.) maintains gages on some of the major rivers located within the general area. One gage, covering 14 years of continuous record, located on the Alamo River at Calipatria, California, recorded a maximum discharge of 6770 cfs in January 1993. The minimum recorded discharge, 1080 cfs, occurred in August 1990. The maximum recorded stage, 7.20 feet, occurred in January 1993, equivalent to an elevation of 189.20 feet. Another gage, on the New~Biver near Westmoreland, California, has 32 years of continuous record. It recorded a maximum discharge of 3000 cfs in August 1977, and its minimum recorded flow of 691 cfs occurred in January 1966. No stage data is provided for this gage site. 3.4.1 Ground Water The Kane Springs Bombing Target site area is underlain by a regionally extensive system of desert basins. These desert or drainage basins receive the majority of their recharge from precipitation runoff from the surrounding mountains and the nearby Salton Sea. The water is absorbed and held by the coarse-grained Quatemary alluvial sediments. The water is therefore unconfined. The depth to groundwater fluctuates greatly due to the surplus or lack of precipitation in the area. The land is dry and must be irrigated to be used for pastureland or farmland. There are extensive irrigation systems throughout the surrounding areas for both domestic and farm use. 3.5 EdQgy The information provided for this site was compiled from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the California Department of Fish and Game Natural Diversity Data Base (NDDB). The following federally-listed species may occur in the vicinity of the former Kane Springs SBT (#62): desert pupfish (&nodon macular&$ endangered flat-tailed -1, proposed endangered; ieutian Canada goose hopare& threatened; bald eagle (Haliaetus -1, endangered; peregrine falcon & m endangered; brown pelican (Pelecau occiden&&), endangered; Yuma claiper rail m wrostris 3-5

vumanensis) endangered; and Piersons milk-vetch (Astraealus m Diersonii), proposed endangered.


The NDDB records indicated that the following state-listed species occurs in the vicinity of the former Kane Springs SBT (#62X desert pupfmh, endangered; and Peirsons milk-vetch, endangered. No additional information on the occurrence of rare or endangered species or natural communities is known at this time. This does not mean that other state or federally-listed species may not be present within the areas of interest. An on site inspection by appropriate state and federal personnel may be necessary to verify the presence, absence or location of listed species, or natural communities if remedial action is recommended as part of the final ASR.

3.6.1 Center of Activity The Kane Springs SBT #62 site is located near the town of Kane Springs, Imperial County, California. Demographic information could not be obtained for Kane Springs, therefore, demographic information for Brawley, a nearby town, will be used. 3.6.2 Population Density CITY/COUNTY COUNTY: Imperial

NOTE: Population density is measure in persons per square mile. N/A denotes data which were not available to this study. 3.6.3 Type of Businesses and Industry The number of business establishments in Imperial County can be broken down by type as follows: manufacturing 3.0%; agriculture 3.6%; services 28.3%; trade and financial 48.3%; and other 16.8%. Of the people employed in Imperial County, 21.6% are employed by classified businesses. Trade and financial firms employ 50% of the working population, and the service industry employs 20.5%. 7.6% of the 3-6

people employed work in manufacturing businesses, and 0.3% are employed by unclassified businesses. Foregoing percentages are from March 1991. 3.6.4 Type of Housing Housing in Brawley is composed of both single family and multi-family dwellings. The median value of 6,124 specified owner-occupied housing units in Brawley is $95,300. 3.6.5 New Development in the Area Development in the area includes residential dwellings, 3.6.6 Typical Cross-Section of Population The portion of the population under the age of 18 is 35.8%, and the portion over the age of 65 is 8.9%. The median age is 30 years. 3.6.7 Information Sources U.S. Census reports as listed below: 1990 Census of Population and Housing, Imperial County, California 1990 Census of Population and Housing, Brawley, California 1988 County and City Data Book, Land Area and Population, Imperial County, California 1988 County and City Data Book, Land Area and Population, Brawley, California 1991 County Business Patterns, Imperial County


4.0 Site Historv

4.1 Historical Site Summarv 4.1.1 General History of Naval and Marine Corps Facilities in Imperial County, California El Centro Marine Corps Air Station In May 1942, military construction began on the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) airfield at El Centro, CA. Seven months later limited operations at the base started. The Marine Corps chose this location because the flat, sandy desert floor and the climate provided an excellent opportunity for all types of pre-combat training and a large amount of flying time. Additional facilities constructed included skeet and rifle ranges, gunnery practice ranges, a rocket range, and rocket ground school. Official commissioning of the base took place on 23 July 1943 (Coletta 1985). In October 1943, El Centro expanded its facilities due to increasing requirements for Marine Corps pilots. It moved its moving target range closer to the base for convenience, and it expanded existing runways and also built two new ones. El Centro began training heavy bomber crews at this time. By the end of 1944, the base maintained training capabilities for sixteen squadrons of fighters, bombers and transports (Office of the Chief of Naval Operations 1943; Coletta 1985). After World War II, jurisdiction for the base switched from the Marine Corps to the Navy. For most of the post-World War II period, Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centros mission has been to support the rocket, bombing, gunnery, antisubmarine warfare, and night flying training for fleet aircraft (U. S. Naval Auxiliary Air Station, El Centro, CA 1952a). Holtville Naval Auxiliary Air Station Construction on the Holtville station began in January 1943, and it was completed five months later. The official commission occurred on 4 July 1943. NAAS Holtville specialized in night flying. The instruction schedule included training in dive bombing, skip bombing, low-level bombing, target strafing, and carrier landings. Later, trainees also practiced rocket firing. The Navy reduced the station to caretaker status in April 1946 and declared it surplus on 10 June 1946 RI. S. Naval Auxiliary Air Station, Holtville, CA 1945, 1946; Navy Department 1948).

4-1 Salton Sea Naval Auxiliary Air Station In 1942, after infrequent, limited use for seaplane landings and as a bombing target, the Navy established an auxiliary facility for seaplanes on the shore of the Salton Sea. It trained seaplane crews and served as an emergency landing area when seaplanes could not land at San Diego. Eventually, the base administered ten water targets, thirteen land targets and five emergency landing fields. The Manhattan project conducted some experiments from the base during World War II, and after the war the base was owned by the Atomic Energy Commission. In the 1960s, the Navy re-acquired the land and used it as a support facility for NAF El Centro. In 1988, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended its closure (U. S. Army Corps of Engineers-Rock Island, IL 1996). Kane Springs SBT #62 The Navy Department acquired this land in August 1944 from the Department of Interior. The ranges target consisted of a radar-rigged fence, and pilots practiced air-to-ground strafing and dropped miniature bombs at this site. In January 1947, the Navy returned the land to the Department of Interior; no land restoration was required, and Navy personnel had removed the target (Assistant Commandant (Logistics) 1944; Navy Department 1947; Vanantwerp 1993; n.a. n.d.1. 4.1.2 Historical Use of OE and CWM at the Kane Springs Bomb Target No. 62 A 1944 bombing range inventory listed miniature bombs and strafing to be the authorized use of this site, but the site inspection conducted February 1996 found evidence of M-38 loo-pound practice bombs in addition to the expected 20mm scrap. The site visit conducted in May 1993 uncovered similar ordnance debris. At various times, the following OE or CWM was stored at the El Centro Marine Corps Air Station and could have been used on its ranges: loo-pound water filled bombs loo-pound general purpose bombs 500-pound water filled bombs 500-pound general purpose bombs lOOO-poundwater filled bombs lOOO-poundgeneral purpose bombs lOOO-poundsemi-armor piercing bombs Miniature bombs 2.25 rocket 3.5 rockets 5 rockets Tiny Tim (11.75) rockets 4-2

.30 caliber incendiary .30 caliber armor-piercing ammunition .50 caliber ammunition 20mm ammunition FS Smoke drums .45 caliber ball ammunition pyrotechnics rocket firers Both air stations at Holtville and Salton Sea also stored some OE and CWM, but the items stored at El Centro reflect the largest, most varied arsenal (Bureau of Ordnance 1946a, 1946b, 1946c; Headquarters, Naval Air Bases 1946b, n.d.; U. S. Marine Corps Air Station 1946; United States Pacific Fleet 1946). 4.2 Review of Historical Records Records relating to the history of Bombing Target #78 were gathered from the following sources from between December 1995 and February 1996. The research team consisted of Rochelle Ross and Theresa Williams-Dye, CELMS-PM-M, and David Tajkowski, and John Daly CELMS-PD-R. Decisions about which record groups to examine at the various national, state, and local archives and records centers were made by consulting finding aids, archivists and records managers. Through the use of finding aids, such as inventories and master accession lists, the researchers were able to focus on those record groups they thought would be most fruitful before calling, or visiting, various repositories.
National Archives 8th and Pennsylvania Washington, D.C. 20408

RG 72

Records of the Bureau of Aeronautics (NAVY) Box 2323, General Correspondence, 1943-45, KV 91 Et 14, Dv 39 Vo12 (no entry number). Contained the following information: acquisition of Permit for use of land for rocket target, El Centro MCAS; lease of additional laud for El Centro Bombing Target #l; El Centro MCAS Gunnery Training Facilities; access roads to El Centro Rocket Target #sl&2. Entry 67, Box 274, Confidential Correspondence, 1922-47 (19451, Kv to Kv 53.


Entry 17A, Box 980, Confidential Correspondence, 1922-44 (19421, KiKv41. Contained a map showing the El Centro NAS Plot Plan (Nov 4, 1942). RG 49 Records of the Bureau of Land Management Abandoned Military Reservations File, CA-Fort Reading to Fort Collins, Boxes 25 & 27. No information on El Centro or Holtville. National Archives-Suitland Branch Washington National Records Center 4205 Suitland Road Suitland, MD 20409 RG 127 Records of the United States Marine Corps Office of the Commandant, General Correspondence, Box 1845, Jan 1939-June 1950,2785-2385. Contained a file on the El Centro MCAS, no pertinent information. Records of the Chemical Warfare Service Entry 2, Box 450, Index Briefs 1918-42, Samples-Schedule. Entry 2, Box 448, Index Briefs 1918-1942, Sales-Samples Entry 2, Box 259, Index Briefs 1918-1942, Hig-Hooker Entry 2, Box 175, Index Briefs 1918-1942, Education-Electric Records of the Bureau of Ordnance (Navy) Entry 1529, Box 1282, NDI-NDll, 1945. Req. disposition of 752 MK 6 Mod 1 parachute flares at NAAS Holtville. Entry 5595, Box 209, NDlO-ND12, 1947. The following information was copied from this box: request for ammunition, MCAS El Centro (2.25 Rocket SCARS, 8000 rounds); disposal officer has been acquired to effect demolitions of dud rockets and bombs on the El Centro Aviation Practice Ranges; discontinuance of target and bombing ranges (#Is 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 69, 77, 90 & 91). Entry 25, Box 362, KV37-NA8, 1943. Monthly ammunition allotment, MCAS El Centro. Entry 25, Box 453, KVS-LL, 1943. This box contained information on empty drums for FS Smoke Mixture and a request for ammunition and water-fillable bombs MCAS El Centro.

RG 175

RG 74


Entry 4444, Box 194, KV thru Ll-1,1946. rocket firers.

Receipt for shipment of

Entry 4444, Box 193, KK/579 thru Kv, 1946. Entry 1529, Box 374, F4 l-10,1945. Entry 4444, Box 287, ND&NDll, 1946. Training for a four month period, 1,224 Tiny Tims, 53,292 SCARS, 11,176 lOO# H20 filled, 2,500 3.5 ARS Entry 1529, Boxes 373,376 & 377,1216 & 1283. Entry 4444, Boxes X4-156,264 & 288. Entry 25, Boxes 187 & 188,248,386 & 515. Entry 5595, Boxes 100 & 101,130 & 197. RG 72 Records of the Bureau of Aeronautics Entry 69A2454, Box 2 & 3, California. Declaration of Surplus for the Holtville Naval Auxiliary Air Station. Records of the Bureau of Supphes and Accounts (NAVY) AI1 requests for RG 143 were unsuccessful. Washington National Record Center 4205 Suitland Road Suitland, MD 20409 Based on the finding aids available at this repository and due to the nature of the site, no boxes were requested. National Archives at College Park 8201 Adelphi Rd College Park, MD 20740

RG 143

RG 48

Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior Entry 748, Boxes 44,45,92, 142,149,162 & 748. Entry 749, Boxes 3218,3219 & 3220. Entry 942, Not Found


Naval Historical Center/AR Washington Naval Yard 901 M Street SE. Washington, D.C. 20374 Aviation History Files, 11th Naval District, Boxes 210, 212, 221,290,292 & 391. Information copied included: histories on El Centro MCAS and Holtville N.&S; 11th Naval District Directory of Naval Air Bases; chronologies of El Centro and Holtville NAAS; rounds expended by fleet units (El Centro NAAS).


States Marine Corps Historical Washington Naval Yard 901 M Street S.E. Washington, D.C. 20374


Additional histories on El Centro were reviewed along with information on the Twenty-nine Palms Marine Corps Base. No copies were made at this repository.

Chemical and Biological Defense Agency Historical AMSCB-CIR Aberdeen Proving Ground Edgewood, MD 21010


This facility contained the results of a chemical warfare material test in Imperial County, California, but further research revealled that it was not conducted on our site. National Archives-Pacific Southwest Region 24000 Avila Rd Laguna Niguel, CA 92677-6719

RG 181

Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments Box 38, File Nl-9, 11th Naval District General Correspondence 1925 1952. Naval and Marine flying within Western Air Defense Zone; survey of shore activities; mission of El Centro NAAS and a historical report on Holtville NAAS. Box 39, File Nl-N3,llth Naval District General Correspondence 19251952. Danger area-El Centro Gunnery Range for MCAS.


Box 422, File NA-NA, 11th Naval District General Correspondence 19251952. Land occupied by rocket target #103; free gunnery range facilities located near El Centro; rocket stowage at El Centro NAS; permit for movable target range for El Centro MCAS and investigation of wrongful release of bombs near El Centro MCAS. Box 57, File CF20C/SF20C/1943, 11th Naval District Formerly Classified Correspondence 1921-47. Board report of investigation of additional facilities requested at the Marine Corps Air Stations on the west coast. Box 424, File NA(2), 11th Naval District General Correspondence 1924-1955. Price of construction for Holtville Outdoor Gunnery Range; acquisition of land for bombing targets and rental price for Holtville Target #l. Additional boxes viewed under RG 181 at the Pacific Southwest Archives included: Boxes 5,56, 116, 119,421,423,427, & 435. RG 270 Records of the War Assets Administration Boxes 63 & 64, File Hollister-Holtville, Real Property Case Files. Federal Record Center-Pacific Southwest Region 24000 Avila Bd Laguna Niguel, CA 92677-6719 This repository contained no pertinent information on our site. National Personnel Record Center-Military 9700 Page Avenue St. Louis, MO 63132 Branch

This repository contained no pertinent information on our site. USACE-Los Angeles District 300 Los Angeles Ave Los Angeles, CA 90053 Information gathered at the L.A. Corps of Engineers included reports of previous site visits, along with real estate data.



Archives-Pacific Sierra Region 1000 Commodore Dr. San Bruno, CA 94066

RG 291

Records of the Property Management and Disposal Service Series 9NSS-121-90-002, Box 59, File B-C&f-730 Salton Sea Test Base. File contained regional information on El Centro. Federal Record Center-Pacific Sierra Region 1000 Commodore Dr. San Bruno, CA 94066

Based on the consultation of the archivists and the corresponding finding aids, no documents were requested at this repository. NAVFAC Historians Office Seabee Museum Construction Battalion Center Port Hueneme, CA 93043 Maps of the El Centro NAAS and of Imperial County (showing bombing targets). Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest Division 1220 Pacific Hwy, Code 2421 San Diego, CA 92132-5190 A Land Acquisition Map of range 2512 (East Mesa) and a Real Estate Summary Map of Imperial County (dated 7-l-65) were available at this repository. U.S. Department of the Navy Public Works Department (Code 341) Naval Air Facility El Centro, CA 92243-5001 A Historic and Archeological Resources Protection Plan for Naval Air Facility, El Centro (October 1994) and additional Land Acquisition Maps were copied at El Centro NAS.


U.S. Department of the Navy Base Library Naval Air Facility El Centro, CA 92243-5001 The base library contained a series of scrapbooks on the history and social activities of El Centro. Bureau of Land Management El Centro Resource Office 1661 South Fourth St. El Centro, CA 92243 Items procured included a Desert Access Guide to Imperial Valley California and BLM jurisdiction and site accessmaps. Combat Heritage Museum Holtville Airport Holtville, CA 92250 Base newspapers of the Holtville Auxiliary Naval Air Station were available for viewing. BABSA Inc. 422 North Imperial Ave. El Centro, CA 92243 Maps on Imperial County and the State of California were available at this repository. 4.3 Summarv of Interviews None of the individuals interviewed, personnel from the Naval Amphibious Base, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, El Centro Naval Air Facility, EOD (Naval, Army, and Marines), and local residents, knew this range had ever existed.


4.4 Ai Ph t Inte r

4.4.1 Air Photo Interpretation Photographic analysis and land-use interpretation were performed using the following photographic sources: Photomaphy Date 18 Nov 1937 22 Feb 1949 18 Apr 1953 26 Apr 1953 06 Jun 1965 16 Sep 1979 22 May 1992 &a& 1:20,000 1:20,000 1:20,000 1:20,000 1:20,000 1:20,000 1:40,000 Source National Archives National Archives Ascs Ascs ASCS Ascs Ascs Frame Identifier(s) ASN-2 66 thru 77 ABN-2 104 thru 107 ASN-5F 38 thru 41 ABN-5F 47 thru 50 10M 117 thru 120 11M 131 thru 135 ABN 1FF 17 thru 19 ABN 1FF 20 thru 22 179 74 thru 76 680152thru54 680173 thru 75

The photography was referenced using the 1992 edition USGS Kane Spring, California 7.5 quadrangle. The photography from 1949 and 1953 show no evidence of bombing or bombing targets in the area. However, there are a few ground scars in the area visible on the 1953 photos. There appears to be a few more ground scars on the 1965 photos. There doesnt appear to be any changes from the previous years visible on the photography from 1979 through 1992. 4.4.2 Map Analysis Map analysis was performed using the 1992 USGS Kane Spring, California 7.5 quadrangle. Planimetric and topographic features are show on the quadrangle. The planimetric features include buildings, loose and hard surface roads, powerlines and levees. The topography of the area is to gently rising terrain to the southwest. Vegetation is sparse and low lying. The site area lies on relatively flat terrain.


5.0 Real Estate

5.1 Confirmed DOD Ownership The former Kane Springs SBT #62, located in Section 2, Township 13 South, Range 11 East, consisting of 677.32 acres, was transferred from the Department of Interior to the Navy Department in August 1944. Pilots practiced air-to-ground strafing and dropped miniature bombs on the site. The site was used by the Navy until January 1947 when the land was returned to the Department of Interior. 5.2 Potential DOD Ownership DOD only owned that land mentioned in Section 5.1. 5.3 Sianificant Past Ownership other than DOD There is no significant past ownership other than DOD. 5.4 Present Ownership According to the INPR and a Kane Springs Quad Sheet dated 1992 the west % of the southwest /4 of the above section is under DOD control and is considered a part of the U.S. Naval Air Facility. However, NAF personnel and records indicate that this property is under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Reclamation.


We began walking in the northeast corner of the former Kane Springs SBT #62 and continued south and west through the site. We found several ordnance items, including JO-caliber and 20mm links, JO-caliber and 20mm casings, scrap from M-38 loo-lb practice bombs, and JO-caliber bullets. The descriptions and locations of the items found are: Description M38 loo-lb Practice Bomb 20mm Casing and M8 links from 20mm Concrete blocks from possible target location Locatinn N 330425.1 W 1154752.5 (PG 12205 59901) N 330413.9 W 1154834.6 (PG 11119 59547) N 330350.9 W 1154836.7 (PG 11073 58834)


7.0 Evaluation

of Ordnance


An intact M38-series loo-lb. practice bomb was found in a deep gully at N 33 04 25.1, W 115 47 52.5EG 12205 59901. This bomb had been washed down the gully and was filed with dirt and rocks, visible through rusted-through holes in the side of the case. The tail section was missing, and thus had no spotting charge. Two 20mm cartridge cases made of brass and an M8 20mm link were found at N 33 04 13.9, W 115 48 34.6/PG 11119 59547. Many World War II era aircraft mounted 20mm guns. A large number of very old concrete blocks were found in the vicinity of N 33 03 50.9, W 115 48 36.7EG 11073 58834. These blocks were scattered about and did not form any discernible pattern, yet could have formed a target circle or even mock buildings at one time. There were several crushed M38s in the area. Fins from MK 19 Mod 113~lb. miniature practice bombs were also found, but none of the bomb bodies were found.


*fg 8.0 T h


8.1 Ordnance related Mission This was a practice bombing and aerial gunnery range in the 1940s. It is possible that target rockets or subcaliber rockets were fired. 8.2 Description of Ordnance Practice bombs like the loo-lb. M38 series, 25lb. and 3-lb. miniature bombs may have been dropped. Aerial gunnery using .50 caliber machine guns and 20mm cannon took place. Target rockets may have been fired to indicate the target, or used as subcaliber munitions. 63 Reference NAVSEA OP 1280, Aircraft Bombs, 1945 NAVSEA OP 1664, U.S. Explosive Ordnance, dated 1947 TM g-1325-200, Bombs and Bomb Components, dated 1966 TM g-1980, Bombs for Aircraft, dated 1950 TM g-1901-1, Ammunition for Aircraft Guns, dated 1957







This cartridge was originally designed as a training round to simulate the high explosive Dater it was superseded incendiary (HE-I) round. by the practice M99 series. The 20 mm was a fixed round consisting of a cartridge case, propellant, and a projectile, primer. The aircraft weapons were fed either through a~drum type magazine or disintegrating linked belts. The projectile was machined from bar steel. The nose appeared to have been cut off squarely, and was painted black. Although originally designed for practice firing, this cartridge was so effective that it was later adopted for actual combat fire as a ball round. 0.56 pounds 0.784 inch (greatest) 7.23 inches TM9-1904, March 1944

Weight . . . ............. Diameter . . ............. Length . . . ............. Reference . . .............


With M4 spotlioe charge


With M3 spotting charge

This bomb simdam a General Fupose bomb of the same size. It is constructed of light sheet metal, approximately 22 gage, formed by rolliig a rectangular sheet of metal into the form of a cylmder approximately 8 inches in diamaer, and spot-welding the seam. The rounded nose is pressed from the same metal, as is the tail which is famed in the shape of a cone. The tail portion ends in a box type fms which is w&al to the cone. Inside of the smaller end of the conical tail section is welded the spotting charge receiver. The spotting charge is iLEswMed in a sleeve.at the base of the bomb, withio the fin box. Authorized spotting charges are the MlAl, M3, and M4. when using the M4 spotting charge a wooden support rod is installed in the bomb. Two suspension logs am bolted to the bomb body during fabrication. The over-all length of the bomb body is 47% inches. When empty. the bomb body weighs appmximately 14 pounds. When completely loaded with sand ai< spotting &age, the. weight of the bomb is approximately 100 pounds.

Over-aU length . . . . . _. _. . Diameter . . , . . . . . . _ . __ . . . . Weight empty .. . . _ .. ~ . Weight sand loaded & spotting charge. Reference

. .

47.5 inches 8.13 inches 15.7 pounds 100 pounds

OP 1664 Vol 1& 2, U.S. Explosive Ordnance February 1954 Complde Round Chart #5981, October 1944


OP 1280

Figure ISO.-ll-Lb.



Bomb Mk 19 Mod 1

This bomb has the following characteristics : Weight, body, without signal or fuing pin assembly . . . . ..__. 13lb.-c3oz.. Overall length . . . . . .13.06 in. Body diametermaximum . . . . . . . .2.62 in. Fin dimension. . maxlmum . . . . . . . .3.67 in. Material-body . . . . . Lead-antimony Material-fins . . . . Steel Ballistic coefficient . .2 Total weight, with firing pin assembly and signal installed, ready for dropping. 13.2lb. t 3 oz. 144

Auxiliary Miniature Mk4 Use

Equipment Practice Bomb Signal AN-

Firing pin assembly and retaining pin

This bomb is for use in high-altitude horizontal bombing practice and may be used against armored-deck target boats having ZO-poundSTS (l/&inch) deck armor, provided the altitude at release does not exceed 6,000 feet (horizontal altitude at release).


9.0 Evaluation

of Other

Site Information

The archive search did not reveal any additional areas of potential environmental concern associated with DOD use.